Sunday, November 30, 2008

Yummy Holiday Treat

I know I just posted about muffins yesterday, but it's the time of year when good food is everywhere.  And I have a new favorite seasonal treat.

It's the Gingerbread Latte from Seattle's Best.  And they can make it sugar-free!  I usually get it with decaf coffee too.  If I feel like splurging and my blood sugars are behaving, I get the whipped cream on top.  More often than not I get it without, and it still feels like a decadent treat.

It comes with an adorable tiny gingerbread man cookie too.  When I don't get the whipped cream, they usually put him on the side.  Today the barista dunked him right in, which is why his face is a little runny.

I plan to drink as many of these as possible before they are gone for the season!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Are you stil hungry?

Okay, so I failed my "post every day this week" goal by missing yesterday. I'd blame it on a Turkey Hangover, but I really didn't stuff myself silly on Thanksgiving. I guess that's why I can still think about food. I had some bananas that were way too ripe, so I decided to bake up some banana muffins. I have plenty of banana nut recipes that I like, but I decided to try a new one this time. I gave Rachel's Version of Banana Bread a try.

Oh my goodness.

I don't think I'll ever use another banana bread recipe again! I made a few mods, but they were minor. First, I cut the whole recipe in half. It still made a dozen muffins, which is plenty for me and Pea. Second, obviously, I made muffins instead of breads. I baked them just like I bake any other muffin recipe, for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. And lastly, because I was lazy, I didn't do the topping. I'm sure it's awesome, but I loved these muffins without it. If a banana muffin had a torrid love affair with a bag of granola, these muffins would be their sinful love-child. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

I'm still trying to work out the carb counts on these. I looked up a bunch of banana nut muffin recipes and they seem to average about 18 - 24 grams per muffin. From the two times I ate these, I'd say they fall toward the lower side - but remember, your body may process the ingredients differently than mine does. Use your best judgement and be sure to check your blood sugar frequently until you figure out how to bolus for these.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful . . .

As we work our way toward the end of 2008, I've been reflecting back over the year. And I'll admit that for the most part, it's been a pretty crappy one. I've had lots of things go wrong this year, and so have many of the people I care about. So when we ring in 2009 in just 34 days, I'll be glad to bid farewell to 2008.

But today is not about dwelling on the things that have gone wrong. And I'm glad, because I have so much in my life that I am thankful for.

My wonderful husband.
My family.
My friends, both in real life and on-line. And especially those who now fall into both categories.
My cute little house, filled with warmth and love and plenty healthy foods.  (And sometimes some not so healthy foods too!)
The four months I got to spend owning the best kitty in the world.
All my pretty yarn.
My new insulin pump, and all of the other supplies that help me manage my diabetes the very best that I can.

On this Thanksgiving, be sure to take special notice of all the things in your life that make you thankful. Never, ever take anything for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In Case of Emergency . . .

I'm really good at planning. I can't help it. It's part of my nature. Or maybe it's just been ingrained in me after all my years with diabetes. But in any case, my head is always swirling with plans and lists, back-up plans, and In Case of Emergency plans.

With some surprise, I realized there is one part of my life that has been seriously under-planned for. Pump site changes. Don't get me wrong, I always have plenty of supplies available to change a site whenever and wherever I may be. But what would happen if, for some reason, I couldn't change my site out on my own. The chances of being too sick to change my site are slim, because I think if I was that sick, I'd be in the hospital anyway. But what if a knitter's worst night-mare happened, and I broke my arm or something. (Yes, in the case of a broken arm, I worry about the knitting before the diabetes. I can't help it.) I don't think I could do a one-armed site change.

I've mentioned this to Pea over the past few days. Since we'll have four days together over the Thanksgiving break, I want him to do a site change for me. From start to end. To make sure that he could if I needed him to. He doesn't want to do it. He's afraid of doing it wrong or hurting me. I don't think he could really mess it up, and I'm not afraid of a little pain. I think it's more important to be sure that, In Case of Emergency, he could help me.

Do you have someone who is ready to do your site changes if you needed them to? Have you long-time pumpers ever been in a situation where someone had to change you site out for you? Is it worth forcing Pea to do one, even if he's really uncomfortable at the thought?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Frustrated . . .

Lately I've been battling with my blood sugars. And I feel like I'm losing. Yesterday was no exception.

I fight highs all morning. Usually it starts to level off in the afternoon. Yesterday my morning wasn't as bad as most days, but my afternoon was worse.  As I finished up my housework, I was feeling sweaty. I figured that was from the cleaning but I tested anyway, and rang in at 33. I had no other symptoms of a low. That makes me think that the highs I fight all morning are rebounds from lows I may be sleeping through - although I have yet to see a middle of the night reading that confirms this.

That 33 made me particularly angry, because it meant I was on my way to another rebound. The rest of the afternoon and evening would be spent trying to correct sky high blood sugars. I was so discouraged that I ate a few cookies. I figured if I was going to be high anyway, I might as well eat what I wanted. Not very productive, but for a moment, I just didn't care. In an attempt to be less reckless, I did bolus for the cookies.

As you can see from my meter readings, I never did rebound. I spend all afternoon and evening desperately trying to get my blood sugar up. I was frustrated. I was discouraged. I was tired and cranky. I got into a huge fight with Pea, that ended with me flinging empty soda cans into the basement, swearing a blue streak and stomping off to hide in the bedroom at 7:30. That's not like me. Yes, I have a temper and tend to raise my voice more than I should, but I don't swear at my husband and I never throw things. I guess the 53 reading at 8:04, after we had made up, didn't surprise either of us.

Next Friday I go to my endo. I'm sure when he sees my readings and I tell him that I'd like to go on a CGMS, he'll start the process immediately. But right now, next Friday seems very far away. And the time it will take to get approval, get my sensors, and get trained to use them feels like eons. And I'm left feeling frustrated about highs I can't correct and scared about lows I'm probably not feeling.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mmmmm, hungry . . .

While other bloggers are posting daily as part of Nablopomo, I seem to be posting less often in November! That sounds just like me. So for my own small personal challenge, I'm going to post every day this week. To both of my blogs. I know that doesn't seem like much, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Today, I'm hungry. And there is a food meme going around. So there you go, instant post topic!

1. Can you cook? If yes, do you like to cook?
Yes, I can. And yes, I do like to.

2. When do you eat with your whole family?
It's just me and Pea, and we eat dinner together every night.

3. What do you eat for breakfast?
Usually FiberOne cereal - it's the only one that doesn't spike me. Or stone-ground wheat toast. Or yogurt and fruit. On the weekends Pea usually makes scrambled eggs for us. Or cheese grits.

4. When, where and how do you eat on weekdays?
Since Pea takes the train to work, I know what time he'll be home and have dinner just about ready when he walks through the door around 6:10. Although lately he's had to work over-time and hasn't been getting home until almost 7. Ugh. When he's home early, we eat in the dining room. When he takes the late train, we're lazy and eat on the couch while watching TV.

5. How often do you eat out (in a restaurant)?
No more than once a week, if that.

6. How often do you order delivery/take-out?
A couple of times a month.

7. Regarding no. 5 and 6: Say there weren’t financial reasons would you do this more often?
Yes, I probably would. Even though I love to cook, I also love to eat out at good restaurants.

8. Are there any “standard dishes” you serve regularly?
I cook fish and chicken at least once a week. But I serve them all different ways.

9. Have you ever cooked for more than 6 persons?
Sure. Even when I was in high school, I was making pasta from scratch and having more than 6 of my friends over for dinner parties. (The picture to the right is from my most recent Dinner and a Movie party. The theme was Airplane. You can click it if you want to see it bigger.)

10. Do you cook every day?
To be honest, I usually don't cook on the weekends.

11. Have you ever tried recipes from blogs?
You bet. Right now I've been making a lot of recipes from A Year of CrockPotting.

12. Who cooks more frequently at your home?
I do.

13. And who cooks better?
For most things, I do. I'm also quicker and make less mess when I cook. Although Pea's chicken cutlets are much, much better than mine.

14. Do you cook totally different compared to your mother/parents?
Kind of. I use more fresh herbs and more seasoning in general. Also, when I have the time, I don't mind cooking things that take some time, where as Mom is more about quick and easy dishes.

15. If yes, do you nevertheless eat at your parents?
You bet. I'd never say no to a free meal!

16. Are you a vegetarian or could you imagine being one?
I can't ever imagine giving up meat.

17. What would you like to cook which you haven’t dared to make yet?
I can't really think of anything. I'm usually not intimidated by cooking. Although I did have trouble with pie crust from scratch and never tried it again.

18. Do you prefer cooking or baking?
I love them both.

19. What is your greatest misery in the kitchen?
Everyone seems to have the same answer to this - not enough counter-space. While I am hurting for counter-space too, I'm going to take a different spin on this question and answer about my greatest COOKING misery. It was the time I tried to make a lemon cream sauce without a recipe . . . just winging it. I ended up with a curdled mess and we had butter on our pasta instead.

20. What do you dislike?
I dislike having to wash all the pots and pans after cooking. Oh, and most vegetables. And most pork (except ham and bacon). And mashed potatoes. And . . .

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crazy for Bond

Over the years I've always enjoyed 007 movies, but mostly went to see them because Pea loves them so much.  All that changed when Daniel Craig started playing James Bond.  I've never been one for blondes, but I'm loving the Blonde Bond.  Suddenly I've got a school-girls crush.

So this time, it was me who was counting down to the release of the newest Bond film.  Over the weekend we went to see it.  Although I thought Casino Royale was better, I really enjoyed this one too.  And suddenly, I'm seeing Bond everywhere . . . . even in my diabetes.

I take my juice-boxes shaken, not stirred.
I am Licensed to Pump.
I try to keep my carb count down, but Ten Grams is not Enough.
I test my blood so much they call me Redfinger.

Want to put a little Bond in your life too?  It's easy . . .
Blood testing in public?  The results are For Your Eyes Only.
What to do if you've eaten your dinner and you still want more?  Easy, You Only Bolus Twice.
We all know the biggest diabetes misconception out there is Never Say Sugar Again!
And sadly, for now, Diabetics are Forever.

Friday, November 14, 2008

World Diabetes Day - A Day in my Diabetes Life

Happy World Diabetes Day.  I'm all decked out in blue (excuse me for over-sharing, but I'm blue right down to my underwear).  I'm getting ready to write a diabetes post for my knitting blog.  But I wasn't sure what I wanted to post on here on my diabetes blog, until I read Kerri's post.  I'm going to steal borrow her idea and give you a Day In My Diabetes Life.  It will actually be a compilation of many days, so I can give you some really good examples of what goes on.

6:10 am:  Pea's alarm clock goes off.  He hits the snooze twice until I yell at him to get up.  While he's getting his breakfast together, I pop into the bathroom to wash up and take my iron pill and my blood pressure pill.  My doctor was somewhat glad the my blood pressure runs a bit high, because taking an ace inhibitor also helps protect my kidneys.

6:30 am:  I put on my workout clothes.  Then I change the lancet in my blood test machine and do my first blood test of the day.  91.  Good.  I make no adjustments, knowing that the 30 minute mile I'm about to do on the treadmill won't have much of a short-term effect on my blood sugar, although it will (hopefully) help keep me stable over the next 24 hours.

7:15 am:  With my workout done, I test my blood again to see where I am.  104.  Great.  I set up the coffee maker to brew while I'm in the shower, and I bolus 1 unit to cover the spike I get from the caffeine.  It's insulin pump site change day.  Not only do I disconnect from my pump for my shower, but I also rip my site out.  Ouch.  It's not exactly painful, but the sticky site doesn't want to let go of my skin.  It's like ripping off a stuck on band-aid.  It smarts a little.  Hey, what's that?  A few large blood droplets start to ooze from the site.  That usually doesn't happen.  But sometimes it does.  You just never know.  I grab a tissue, mop them up, and hit the shower.

8:32 am:  Shower is done, new site is on, and coffee has been drunk.  Now I'm ready for some breakfast.  But first, another blood test.  I test before each meal.  86.  Good.  I'm having yogurt (11g carb) and fruit salad (21g cab).  I try to eat less than 30g at a time, but it can be difficult.  Today I'll be happy with 32g.  The pump tells me to bolus 3.2 units for the food, but deduct .3 units because my blood sugar is only 86.  (It tried to keep me at 100.)  So 2.9 units it is.

10:45 am: I'm surfing the web reading blogs.  I want to leave comments, but I'm having a problem.  Every post I read is . . . well . . .crap.  The words don't make sense.  There is no point.  I can't figure out what everyone is trying to say.  Stupid bloggers - they usually write so well.  What is wrong with everyone today?  I'm so annoyed . . .   I think I'll go knit.

11:02 am:  Knitting isn't going much better.  My fingers just aren't moving right.  BEEP-BOOP-BEEP  My pump says it's time for my 2 1/2 hour after a meal blood sugar reading.  Where is my meter?  Oh, I left it in the kitchen.  Knitting in hand, I go retrieve my meter.  Doh, I left the ball of yarn on the couch, so a long string has trailed me into the kitchen.  I'm so aggravated.  My meter rings out . . . 55.  Damn.  Anything under 70 is too low.  As I slurp down my juice-box, I realize with some guilt that the bloggers are not stupid today - their posts were as witty and well thought out as usual.  It was my low blood sugar that made my head swim and caused nothing to make sense.  I'm sorry for doubting you, blog friends.  It's weird that I'm so foggy at 55 - usually I'm okay.  After all, the other day I was 27 and completely clear headed.  Why am I surprised?  I know diabetes often contradicts itself.  You never quite know what you are going to get.

1:28 pm:  Time for lunch.  And another finger stick.  155.  Well now I'm too high.  Darn.  I bolus 1 unit for the salad I'll be eating and 1 unit because I'm higher than the target 80 - 120 range.  Then I put my salad together.  A big bowl of Very Veggie salad blend.  A cut up cucumber.  A handful of sunflower seeds.  Some chicken and some shredded cheddar jack.  A dollop of buttermilk ranch dressing.  And a big cup of water.  Yum.

4:05 pm:  Time for the next blood sugar check.  118.  Great!!  Now it's time to get ready for our ballroom dance class.  I change my clothes, grab my shoes, and pick up Pea at work.

5:33 pm:  Better test my blood before starting to dance.  I've got a juice-box at the ready if I'm too low.  But no, I'm at 122.  The pump says to take .4 units to bring me back to 100, but I over-ride this because the dancing should do the trick.

6:20 pm:  Dance class is over and we're on our way home.  I test again, and am just where I want to be, 104.  Hurray!!!  However, the highway is at a stand-still, so we decide to hop off and stop for dinner at a near-by restaurant while traffic clears out.  Eating out can be tricky, as I have to guess on the carb content of the food.  And I really, really want the Fish and Chips.  I haven't had them in ages.  Fried food is hard to bolus for, because the fat messes with the carb absorption.  And French Fries are one of my personal arch enemies, always making me spike.  But I've been having a pretty good day with the blood sugars - and I really want the Fish and Chips, so I'm going to go for it.  I bolus 7 units using my pumps Dual Wave feature.  I let it give me 3 units right now, and release the other 4 units slowly over the next 1 1/2 hours.  This should help keep me level even though the fat will slow down the way my body processes the carbs.

9:00 pm:  Pea and I are watching TV when my pump reminds me that it's time to test again.  111.  Good, right on track.

10:15 pm:  Time for bed.  I wash up and take my cholesterol pill.  High cholesterol runs in my family.  And since I have diabetes, it's important to keep my levels in check.  And now, time for my tenth and final blood test of the day.  246.  CRAP.  So much for my good blood sugar day.  However, the pump tells me that I still have enough units of insulin in my body (from that extended dinner bolus) to bring me back into range.  I make a note however, so next time I can adjust the bolus and get more insulin sooner.  That should help me avoid a spike next time I decide to indulge in French Fries.  Of course, the chances of next time working like this time are always a gamble.

And so ends my sample Day In The Life with Diabetes.  I can guarantee you that if I do everything exactly the same tomorrow, I will get wildly different results.  That's the thing with diabetes.  No two days are ever the same.  You just do the best you can, make adjustments when you need to, and try again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Putting out an A.P.B. . .

Sound the alarms!  My motivation is missing.  Last seen just two days ago.  Desperately needed and missed.  Lack of motivation has caused the skipping of two workouts.  Blood sugars are expected to soar.  It is believed my motivation took off when the skies turned gray and Mother Nature decided to send cold weather and rain.  Depression has followed.

Anyone seeing my motivation is asked to please report it immediately.  Reward may be granted upon safe return home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh, you can't have that . . .

We talk a lot about the need for creating awareness of diabetes and how we live with it every day. I imagine the "uninformed masses" as nameless, faceless people very far from me. I live in my little bubble of immediate family and friends, who all understand diabetes pretty well.

Last week, in Louisiana for my uncle's services, I was outside of my bubble. I only see my aunt and cousins every few years, and I forget that diabetes isn't a daily issue to them. I need to remember that they still believe what we were told 20 years ago, that sugar is taboo. I need to remember to explain that a low means I need glucose, not insulin. I need to teach them that although I try to stay below 140 after a meal, it won't always happen. When I'm stressed out and far from home, eating things I don't usually eat and trying to guess their carb content, a 214 will slide in there - and it isn't the end of the world.

After the funeral, we gathered at my cousin's house for some wonderful southern cooking sent over by members of their church. My cousin's husband reminded us to save room for all the desserts - but then said to me "Oh, but you can't have that" in the apologetic tone we all know well. It was okay though - it was a great opportunity to educate them all on carb counting and meal boluses. There was no way I was passing up home-made Louisiana pecan pie!

I selected a modest slice and guestimated the carbs as well as I could, remembering that the filling was sugar, pecans, sugar, butter, sugar and sugar. I remembered fleetingly that my physical activity over the past two days had consisted of car rides, airplane flights and sitting in the funeral home. That's okay, I'd adjusted later for any Pie-High.

Later that night, Pea and I relaxed in the hotel, glad to have made it through the stress of the wake and funeral. I felt pretty nauseated, and assumed it was due to the spicy and unusual foods I'd eaten earlier. (Mmm, the jambalaya and boudin. Later in the week we had gumbo and crawfish etoufette. Yum! ) I decided to test my blood and go to bed.

3 . . . .

2 . . . .

1 . . . .

beep . . . .

"Oh crap. Sweetpea, I'm 27." Ah, stress. I forgot to take into account that we all felt much less stressed out after making it through the funeral. Yes, I was still upset and sad - but the weight of the services has been lifted off us all. In any case, I'm less concerned by what caused the 27, and more concerned with how it snuck up on me. I wasn't shaky or sweaty or foggy. I'm grateful that I was alert and functioning, but it still bothers me that I got as low as TWENTY-SEVEN with no symptoms except for a bit of queasiness. That's scary.

I think it's time to fight for a CGMS. And yes, next time I'll have a second slice of pie!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fly High and Say Bye

First, indulge me in a little figure skating talk. Brasseur and Eisler, a Canadian pair team, had a daring move called "Fly High and Say Bye". It always brought the crowd to their feet. Wanna see it? Look for it around the 1:10 mark in this video.

Fun, huh? But why take a walk down figure skating memory lane with the "Fly High and Say Bye"? Well, that's not so fun. My family is flying high on a trip to say bye to my Uncle, whose long battle with cancer ended early Saturday morning.

Uncle J, Mom and Aunt M. April 1949.

Bye, Uncle J. I'll miss you teasing me about my knitting. I'll miss "fixing" your coffee just the way you like it. (Black, no sugar) I'll miss comparing medical devices with you. But I'm glad you are in a better place, whole and free from pain.